Ahold Delhaize To Explore Robotics In Retail In Partnership With TU Delft
Ahold Delhaize has announced that it will enter into a partnership with Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), in the Netherlands, to expand the company’s Artificial Intelligence for Retail (AIR) Lab.
The expansion will include a robotics research programme and a test site, to drive state-of-the-art innovations in the retail industry, the retailer said.
The director of the TU Delft Robotics Institute and supervisor of AIRLab Delft, Professor Martijn Wisse, said, “This collaboration with Ahold Delhaize allows us to solve real-world challenges by focusing on fundamental issues in robotics, such as how to learn and safely execute tasks in the context of uncertainty, how to safely navigate and interact in environments shared with humans, and how to efficiently and effectively plan the routes of fleets of last-mile delivery.”
This is the first expansion of Ahold Delhaize’s AIRLab, and it is expected to drive innovations for daily business while building more knowledge around retail, AI and robotics.
A team of international researchers in the TU Delft Robotics Institute will explore robotic solutions for the entire retail supply chain.
The solutions will be tested in Ahold Delhaize’s test site, where researchers will work with partners, students and start-ups, supported by the technology incubator of TU Delft – YES!Delft.
The test site is expected to be operational by early 2019 and will explore how robotics can be deployed in a retail setting.
It will include the testing of robotic grippers that handle delicate items like fruit and vegetables, and explore how to improve the image recognition of products and packaging.
The president and CEO of Ahold Delhaize, Frans Muller, said, “The rapid advancements in AI and robotics provide us with significant opportunities to make everyday shopping even easier for our customers and develop new solutions for our warehouses and last-mile delivery.
“Working together with academic partners such as TU Delft will enable Ahold Delhaize and AIRLab to shape a technology-driven world in a responsible way. It helps us become a frontrunner in AI research and development for retail and, ultimately, build capabilities that are scalable for the group,” added Muller.
Ahold Delhaize’s AIRLab is part of the Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence, a research platform that unites universities and businesses, and serves as an engine for AI talent in the Netherlands.
Last week, the grocery group announced a partnership with Takeoff, to roll out small automated warehouses to speed up order-picking and cut delivery times in the US.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.